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Postgraduate Research

We offer 2 programmes within the department, a 3-year and 4-year programme. Our programmes are funded from many sources including the Research Councils (EPSRC, BBRSC, NERC and MRC), Charities, the European Community, US Government sources and industry in the UK, Europe and the USA.

PhD Chemistry (3-year)

PhD Chemistry

The 3-year Chemistry PhD programme is focused on a major piece of original research. You will study under the direct supervision of a member of staff, who is an expert in his or her area of specialisation. The department offers a broad range of research themes across physical, organic, inorganic and computational chemistry, specific departmental strengths are listed under research areas below.

Read more on the Chemistry PhD programme 

Wellcome Trust Interdisciplinary Programme in Structural, Computational and Chemical Biology (4-year)

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This unique programme offers opportunities to study at UCL, Birkbeck College and MRC-NIMR. Students are exposed to a wide range of training in protein structure, chemical biology and the computational tools necessary to address important problems in biomedicine.

Read more on the SCCB programme

 

A 3-year PhD studentship in noncontact printing of organic semiconductors for flexible electronics (D/L 26/11/2021)

Supervisor: Dr Giorgio Volpe
Application deadline: 26 November 2021
Interview date: 13 December 2021
Start date: flexible, from 01 March 2022 to 26 September 2022

Subject areas: Materials Science, Soft Matter, Nanotechnology, Organic Electronic Engineering, Surfaces and Interfaces, Experimental Physical Chemistry.

UCL Chemistry Department is offering a fully-funded studentship to a highly motivated candidate to start by the 26th September 2022.  The student will carry out his/her doctoral research at UCL.

The project
Solution processable molecular organic semiconductors are prime candidates to realise flexible electronics. However, a lack of control over molecular alignment is currently severely limiting their electronic performance. Being able to guide their deposition and solid-state packing on a molecular level would therefore be a significant leap forward to improve their electronic properties. In recent years, major effort has been undertaken to develop novel techniques to achieve a higher level of alignment on deposited organic semiconductors. While these approaches were successful in coating large areas, it is still challenging to adapt them for controllably patterning organic semiconductors to be used in electronic circuits, organic photovoltaics and organic thermoelectric generators. This project will focus on applying a novel noncontact printing technique with great molecular alignment capabilities developed in Dr Volpe’s group to improve the alignment and, hence, the electronic properties of organic semiconductors. The improved electronic performance will be tested by fabricating prototype printed electronic devices. This studentship is part of a larger 3-year project funded by the EPSRC, which will develop in close collaboration with the groups of Dr Bob Schroeder and Dr Matthew Blunt at UCL Chemistry. As part of this project, the successful candidate will also be expected to work in close collaboration with two postdoctoral researchers in the host group.

Please visit our group website for more details about our research.

The applicants should have, or be expecting to achieve, a first or upper second class Honours degree or equivalent at Bachelor’s or Master’s level in Physics, Chemistry, Materials Science, Engineering or a related discipline. The successful applicant will demonstrate strong interest and self-motivation in the subject and the ability to think analytically and creatively. An enquiring and rigorous approach to research as well as excellent team-working, computer skills and observational and communication skills (both presentation and writing skills in English) are also essential. Previous data analysis and programming experience are highly desirable. Previous research experience in contributing to a collaborative interdisciplinary research environment would be highly desirable but not essential, as training will be provided. 

Interested candidates should initially contact the supervisor, Dr Giorgio Volpe (g.volpe@ucl.ac.uk), with a degree transcript and a motivation letter expressing interest in this project. Informal inquiries are encouraged. Please note that a suitable applicant will first be required to complete MS Form entitled Application for Research: degree Chemistry programme. The next step is to complete an electronic application form at http://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/apply (please select Research degree: Chemistry programme). They will be invited for the interview no more than 4 weeks after the application deadline. The interview process will include a short data analysis project and the preparation of a small report to summarise its results. Any admissions queries should be directed to Dr Jadranka Butorac and Holly Ambrose-Wilson at doctoral.chem@ucl.ac.uk.

Applications are welcome from UK nationals, EU students with settled/pre-settled status and students with indefinite leave to remain or enter. Please note that the studentship only covers home fees. The updated rules for eligibility for home fees for next year are available at View Website

Applications will be accepted until 26 November 2021. 

 

A 4-Year PhD Studentship in Lipid and Peptide Synthesis for the Delivery of Therapeutics  (D/L 15/11/2021)

Supervisor: Professor Helen Hailes and Professor Alethea Tabor
Application deadline: 15 November 2021
Start date: flexible, from 01 January 2022 to 26 September 2022

A fully funded 4-year PhD studentship is available in the Department of Chemistry to work on a collaborative project with 4basebio on new lipids and peptides for the non-viral gene delivery of synthetic linear DNA (hpDNA) with Professor Helen Hailes and Professor Alethea Tabor, and Dr Heikki Lanckriet at 4basebio.

Synthetic hpDNA offers many advantages over plasmid DNA (pDNA) for use in gene and cell therapies. HpDNA lacks the bacterial backbone present in plasmids and is free from bacterial contaminants typically present in plasmid preparations. Moreover, it can be produced cost-effectively and can be scaled easily. However, the existing delivery systems for genetic payloads have been optimised for use with pDNA. This project will build upon the Department of Chemistry’s extensive expertise in the design of new lipids and peptides for formulation into lipoplexes and lipopolyplexes for the delivery of therapeutics. Lipids and peptides will be synthesised incorporating different structural features to aid stability in vivo, enhance cell-internalisation and release DNA via the incorporation of cleavable moieties. Characterisation of the nanoparticles will be performed to understand their size, architecture and stability. The student will gain expertise in synthetic organic chemistry, peptide synthesis, the use of a variety of analytical and characterisation techniques, such as HPLC and NMR spectroscopy, nanoparticle characterisation via biophysical techniques such as dynamic light scattering, zeta potential and electron microscopy. The student will also have the opportunity to undertake a 6-month industrial placement at 4basebio, Cambridge.

Applicants should have, or expect to gain, at least a 2.1 honours or equivalent at Masters level in Chemistry, Chemical Biology or a related discipline. They should be self-motivated, be keen to work on a collaborative interdisciplinary project with industry and have excellent experimental skills. Good communication skills (both presentation and writing skills in English) are also essential. UCL offers a world-leading scientific environment in the heart of London. 

Applications are welcome from UK nationals, EU students with settled/pre-settled status and students with indefinite leave to remain or enter. Please note that the studentship only covers home fees. The updated rules for eligibility for home fees are available at View Website
Applicants should send their applications (covering letter and CV including contact details for 2 referees) by email to Professor Helen Hailes (h.c.hailes@ucl.ac.uk). Please note that a suitable applicant will first be required to complete MS Form entitled Application for Research: degree Chemistry programme. The next step is to complete an electronic application form at http://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/apply (please select Research degree: Chemistry programme). They will be invited for the interview no more than 4 weeks after the application deadline. 

 Any admissions queries should be directed to doctoral.chem@ucl.ac.uk

For further details about our research see http://www.ucl.ac.uk/chemistry/people/helen-hailes
https://www.ucl.ac.uk/chemistry/people/alethea-tabor and https://www.4basebio.com/

The start date for the PhD is January 2022 onwards. The final deadline for applications is 15th November 2021.

 

A 3-year PhD studentship in Theoretical Chemistry: Classical-Scaling Methods for Non-Adiabatic Quantum Dynamics (D/L 17/11/2021)

Supervisor: Dr Tim Hele, t.hele@ucl.ac.uk
Application deadline: Wednesday 17th November
Interview date: Provisionally Wednesday 8th December
Start date: Monday 26th September 2022

UCL Chemistry Department is offering a fully-funded studentship to a highly motivated candidate to start in September 2022.  The student will carry out his/her doctoral research at UCL.

Researching in the group of Dr Tim Hele, the successful applicant will research non-adiabatic quantum dynamics, developing methods that can accurately capture charge and energy transfer in complex chemical systems while also having classical (linear) scaling. There are many possible avenues of research including (Meyer-Miller-Stock-Thoss) mapping variables, ring-polymer molecular dynamics, coherent states and symplectic algorithms. While this project focuses on theoretical method development there is scope for application to systems such as organic light-emitting diodes and photovoltaics. This position would suit a highly motivated candidate looking for a challenging computational and theoretical project.

The essential criteria for this position are:
1.    A good academic track record: have, or be predicted to have, a 2:1 or first-class degree or equivalent in Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics or a related discipline
2.    Eligible for Home UK funding (see below)
3.    An interest in computational or theoretical chemistry 
4.    Ability to write and run computer code or a willingness to learn 
5.    Ability to undertake scientific research to a high standard 
6.    Ability to communicate the results of their research clearly
7.    Ability to work well as part of a collaborative team
The desirable criteria for this position are:
1.    An excellent academic track record: predicted to achieve, or have achieved a first-class result or equivalent 
2.    Outstanding academic track record as evidenced by academic prizes or awards
3.    Pre-existing research experience in computational chemistry (such as a Master’s project or summer studentship)
4.    Ability to write, run and correct Python code
5.    Knowledge of classical-scaling non-adiabatic quantum dynamics, evidenced by research experience

Interested candidates should initially contact the supervisor, Dr Tim Hele via t.hele@ucl.ac.uk, with a degree transcript and a motivation letter expressing interest in this project and explaining which of the essential and desirable criteria they meet and how. Informal inquiries are encouraged. Please note that a suitable applicant will first be required to complete MS Form entitled Application for Research: degree Chemistry programme. The next step is to complete an electronic application form at http://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/apply (please select Research degree: Chemistry programme). They will be invited for the interview no more than 4 weeks after the application deadline. The interview process will include a short coding exercise and the delivery of a short research presentation. Any admissions queries should be directed to Dr Jadranka Butorac and Holly Ambrose-Wilson at doctoral.chem@ucl.ac.uk.

Applications are welcome from UK nationals, EU students with settled/pre-settled status and students with indefinite leave to remain or enter. Please note that the studentship only covers home fees. The updated rules for eligibility for home fees for next year are available at View Website.

Applications will be accepted until 5pm GMT on Wednesday 17th November. 

Two 3-year PhD studentships in the deposition of functional thin films (D/L 19/11/2021)

Supervisor: Professors Ivan Parkin and Claire Carmalt
Application deadline: 19th November 2021
Interview date: 8 December 2021
Start date: flexible, from 01 March 2022 to 26 September 2022

UCL Chemistry Department is offering two fully funded studentships to highly motivated candidates to start by the 26th September 2022.  The student will carry out their doctoral research at UCL.

The projects
Applications are invited for two PhD studentships to work in the group of Professors Ivan Parkin and Claire Carmalt in the Department of Chemistry at UCL. The group designs and develops precursors for the deposition of functional materials and utilizes chemical vapour deposition for the formation of thin films. Please visit our group website for further information. Two projects are available:
Project 1: involves atmospheric pressure chemical vapour (APCVD) deposition of transparent conducting oxides (TCOs), materials that are widely adopted in optoelectronic devices as transparent electrodes. This project aims to develop new high quality TCO films on glass. Some synthesis may be necessary to develop precursors needed for film growth.  Materials characteristics of the deposited films will be probed for TCO applications.
Project 2: will investigate the deposition of hydrophobic anti-soiling coatings via APCVD, which will be achieved through the development of rare-earth oxide precursors. A key feature of the project will be to investigate the deposition of thin films utilizing the synthesized precursors via APCVD or other deposition techniques. The objective is to develop and test thin inorganic rare-earth oxide coatings for application to solar cover glass. The project will involve development of Schlenk synthesis skills and materials deposition and characterization.

The applicants should have, or be expecting to achieve, a first or upper second-class Honours degree or equivalent in chemistry. 
Interested candidates should initially contact the supervisors, [Professor Claire Carmalt c.j.carmalt@ucl.ac.uk; Professor Ivan Parkin i.p.parkin@ucl.ac.uk ], with a degree transcript and a motivation letter expressing interest in these projects. Informal inquiries are encouraged. Please note that a suitable applicant will first be required to complete MS Form entitled Application for Research: degree Chemistry programme. The next step is to complete an electronic application form at http://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/apply (please select Research degree: Chemistry programme). Candidates will be invited for the interview no more than 4 weeks after the application deadline. Any admissions queries should be directed to Dr Jadranka Butorac and Holly Ambrose-Wilson at doctoral.chem@ucl.ac.uk.

Applications are welcome from UK nationals, EU students with settled/pre-settled status and students with indefinite leave to remain or enter. Please note that the studentship only covers home fees. The updated rules for eligibility for home fees for next year are available at View Website.

Applications will be accepted until 19th November 2021. 
 

Resources:

We offer an excellent education with high standards of teaching in an exciting but friendly environment. We foster a community feel to the department and you will mix throughout your time here with staff, undergraduate students and researchers.

UCL Scholarships: find the currently available Studentships with the Scholarships and funding tool.

Questions & Answers: There's a lot you should ask and a lot for us to tell you in our FAQ section.

Departmental Graduate Tutor
Professor Jim C. Anderson
Email: j.c.anderson@ucl.ac.uk

For all PGR enquiries contact:
Email: doctoral.chem@ucl.ac.uk